The Dochas Centre 50 Campbell Street, Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8JU               Scottish Charity No  029821                                                                                                                

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Bringing Together People who Care”

Dochas Counselling Team

Alison Whitefield - Lead Counsellor

I’m Alison Whitefield, Lead Counsellor for the dedicated Counselling Team at Dochas I have volunteered at the Centre since 2011 and completed my Counselling Diploma at Strathclyde University. I aim to offer my clients a safe space to explore any issues and anyone who knows me will tell you how passionate I am about the benefits of counselling. I also work part time at Lochgilphead Medical Centre. Both roles demand strict confidentiality and I work hard to maintain my professionalism. I have lived in Lochgilphead for most of my life and am married with two grown up boys.

Maggie McLaren - Counsellor

I’m Maggie McLaren, my background is in Psychiatric nursing and Community care before working at the Dochas centre with unpaid carers.
I gained my Diploma in Relationship counselling with Relationship Scotland in 2015 and I am qualified to work with individuals and couples. I have been part of the Dochas centre for 12 years in a variety of roles and now as a volunteer counsellor. I also volunteer for Relationship Scotland (Couple counselling Argyll).
I aim to offer a warm and professional relationship to clients that is safe and non-judgmental.

Stephen Raikes - Counsellor

My name is Stephen Raikes. I have spent most of my working life in education and my current role is Principal Teacher of Learning Support. Although I no longer live in Lochgilphead I continue to work as a counsellor volunteer at Dochas using the phone and different online platforms. I have been volunteering at Dochas for just over a year and a half. I practice Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). I have four children (all grown up now) and four grandchildren. My other interests include walking and singing.

Donna Fraceschild - Counsellor

Donna has lived in Tarbert since 1996. She is a BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) registered counsellor with a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling with Distinction from the University of Abertay and, since qualification, has specialised in trauma, working with survivors of child sexual abuse and domestic violence. She has worked for Open Secret, Wellbeing Scotland and Women's Aid in addition to her work for the Dochas Centre. She is currently working towards a post-qualification certificate in Counselling for Children and Young People at the University of Strathclyde and has recently started client work with the Mid-Argyll Youth Development Service.

Gemma Stewart - Counsellor

My name is Gemma Stewart. I have always been curious about what it means to be human and exploring the complicated nature of life and relationships. I am committed to helping people create a better understanding of their experiences and to navigate life’s inevitable challenges, in a non-judgemental, safe space. This led me to become a social worker and then into the world of counselling. I am a dynamic and passionate counsellor. I’m proud to be part of the Dochas Counselling Service and to serve our local community in such an important way. I also love, being a mum, wild swimming, music and yoga.